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Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Chemistry

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EN16190Occurrence of fluorotelomer alcohols at two Alpine summits: sources, transport and temporal trends

Zhenlan Xu, Lingxiangyu Li, Bernhard Henkelmann and Karl-Werner Schramm

Environmental context. The transport and fate of organic pollutants such as fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) in the atmosphere affect their risks to the environment and human health. On the basis of hourly trajectory predictions, we found that, from 2007 to 2010, individual levels of 6:2, 8:2 and 10:2 FTOH were from non-detectable to 72.4 pg m–3 at two Alpine summits. Air mass origin was an important factor determining the Alpine atmospheric FTOH levels.


Environmental context. Volatile selenium compounds from the oceans may ultimately be an important selenium source for agricultural soils. It has been hypothesised that marine algae are responsible for volatile selenium emissions, but in laboratory experiments, we observed minimal volatile selenium production by two marine algae known to produce large amounts of volatile sulfur. Instead, we found hints that bacterial processes may be important in the production of volatile selenium in the oceans.

EN17026Sorption of selected radionuclides on different MnO2 phases

Matthew T. Athon, Glen E. Fryxell, Chia-Ying Chuang and Peter H. Santschi

Environmental context. Releases to the aquatic environment from radiological dispersal devices, accidents or leaking waste disposal sites require close monitoring for radionuclide identification. A novel in situ gamma spectrometer deployable on platforms in coastal waters can provide detailed radioisotopic, however, only after the radionuclides are pre-concentrated on efficient sorbents. Here, we report results of particle–water distribution coefficients, KD, on three novel MnO2 sorbents using a set of artificial and natural radionuclides in small batch experiments.

EN16192Doped Ti-pillared clays as effective adsorbents – Application to methylene blue and trimethoprim removal

Beatriz González, Raquel Trujillano, Miguel A. Vicente, Vicente Rives, Emerson H. de Faria, Katia J. Ciuffi, Sophia A. Korili and Antonio Gil

Environmental context. Water is an essential compound for life; however, several factors limit the amount available for human consumption. Every day, thousands of pollutants are discharged into drinking water. Here, new materials that are efficient as adsorbents and photocatalysts for pollutants are reported.

EN17004Desorption rate of glyphosate from goethite as affected by different entering ligands: hints on the desorption mechanism

Jeison M. Arroyave, Carolina C. Waiman, Graciela P. Zanini, Wenfeng Tan and Marcelo J. Avena

Environmental context. Glyphosate is a heavily used herbicide that is mobilised in soil and sediments through adsorption–desorption processes from the surface of mineral particles. We demonstrate that the desorption rate of glyphosate from goethite, a ubiquitous mineral, is nearly independent of the concentration and nature of the substance that is used to desorb it. The results elucidate the desorption mechanism and are relevant to understand and predict the environmental mobility of glyphosate.

EN17028Metal removal by pine bark compost using a permeable reactive barrier device at laboratory scale

Javier Cancelo-González, Diego Martiñá-Prieto, Daniel Hernández-Huerta and María T. Barral

Environmental context. Permeable reactive barriers are a developing technology to clean up contaminated groundwater. The contaminant plume moves through a reactive material placed below ground that retains or degrades the pollutants. This study shows that pine bark compost strongly adsorbs and retains metals, mostly by interaction with the organic matter of the compost, and thereby serves as a suitable reactive filler material to clean up contaminated groundwater.

EN16210Geometrical properties of materials for energy production by salinity exchange

A. V. Delgado, S. Ahualli, M. M. Fernández, M. A. González, G. R. Iglesias, J. F. Vivo-Vilches and M. L. Jiménez

Environmental context. Oceans and seas have the potential to play a significant role in providing renewable and clean energy. In particular, salinity difference energy aims to extract the enormous amount of energy that is released when fresh water rivers flow into the oceans. Capmix methods are focused on this challenge by using capacitive carbon electrodes whose optimisation will certainly help in developing salinity difference energy.

EN17076Solubility of the nadorite group minerals: implications for mobility of Sb and Bi in oxidised settings

Adam J. Roper, Peter Leverett, Timothy D. Murphy and Peter A. Williams

The dispersion of antimony in the environment has been misunderstood over the last few decades. Investigating the solubility of naturally forming mineral phases such as nadorite resulted in determination of its limited role in Sb dispersion, providing evidence that nadorite can only limit antimony dispersion in mildly oxidising conditions. Nadorite can only play a significant role in Sb immobilisation in a particular redox window, which forms only a minor part of the framework of Sb dispersion.


Environmental context. Interfacial properties of colloid and nanoparticles are directly related to the reactivity and surface densities of existing surface sites. Surface characterisation of particles provides only some kind of average surface properties. Analysis of well-defined monocrystal surfaces, which form the surface of the single particle, leads to a better understanding of surface reactions and mutual interactions of adjacent crystal planes on average surface properties.


Environmental context. The chemical speciation of mercury (Hg) largely controls its biogeochemical cycling and exposure to biota. Here, we investigate the thermodynamic stabilities of complexes formed between inorganic divalent Hg (HgII) and 15 biogeochemically relevant low-molecular-mass (LMM) thiol ligands. This information is critical for accurate modelling of the chemical speciation of HgII and to clarify the role of HgII–LMM thiol complexes in the cycling of Hg in the environment.

EN17003Foam placement for soil remediation

Henri Bertin, Estefania Del Campo Estrada and Olivier Atteia

Environmental context. Soil pollution is an important concern and remediation techniques, especially in situ techniques, should be studied. We investigate a new technique based on foam generation and placement inside the porous soil to improve the pollutant extraction. This technique could be useful when the soils are heterogeneous because it allows a complete soil sweeping.


Environmental context. Extracellular polymeric substances provide a nucleation site for calcium carbonate and hence are important for bio-calcification processes, with implications for sediment formation and the global carbon cycle. We investigate the calcification potential of polymeric substances produced by five species of cyanobacteria. The results indicate that the protein content and alkaline functional groups of the extracellular polymeric substances may have a significant effect on cyanobacterial calcification.

EN17034Micellar oxidative transformation of ciprofloxacin: a kinetic investigation

Alpa Shrivastava, Ajaya Kumar Singh, Neerja Sachdev, Dilip R. Shrivastava and Surendra Prasad

Environmental context. Pollution of the aquatic environment by drugs results not only during their manufacture, but also from the excretion of drug residues and the discharge of expired drugs by households and hospitals. The transformation of ciprofloxacin, one of the leading antibiotic drugs, in the presence of surfactants has been investigated. The results provide a better understanding of how ciprofloxacin degrades in aquatic environments by considering the effect of omnipresent surfactants.

EN17102Adsorptive removal of ammonium ion from aqueous solution using surfactant-modified alumina

Tien Duc Pham, Thi Trang Do, Van Lau Ha, Thi Hai Yen Doan, Thi Anh Huong Nguyen, Thanh Duc Mai, Motoyoshi Kobayashi and Yasuhisa Adachi

Environmental context. Ammonium ion, an inorganic pollutant in agricultural land, can induce eutrophication, impacting on water quality. We investigate the adsorption of ammonium ion on surfactant-modified alumina and demonstrate highly efficient removal of ammonium ions by the alumina from two agricultural water samples. Adsorption mechanisms are also proposed based on adsorption isotherms, surface modification and the change in surface charge.


Environmental context. Transmission of viruses is related to their survival while being outside the host body. By means of experimental and computational simulations we assess the optimal conditions for virus deactivation upon contact with particularly functionalised substrates. These results constitute the basis for the design of new surfaces with high antiviral activity that can be important in public or sensitive environments such as in hospitals where the contamination and spreading of viruses are a critical issue.

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